Have you ever noticed that something can become “standard” out of nowhere? A feature or a piece of technology in our phones, seemingly out of the blue, is now the benchmark for phones going forward. While I know some people out there who completely love front-facing cameras, the majority of folks I talk to, and hear from, absolutely can’t stand them. These folks see no point to them, and while I would probably say that this is the way that the majority of folks out there feel, we still see FFCs all over the place. They’re a standard now, and there doesn’t seem to be getting away from it. Maybe dual-core processors didn’t come completely out of the blue, but there is that standard now, and this new specification is exactly what people expect in phones moving forward. But, is it getting out of hand?

Yesterday Sydney did her live show at the PhoneDog Ustream channel, and I got a chance to catch the beginning of it. She touched on a subject that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and that’s dual-core processors. She did a great job of pointing out that Android has made this a standard and not any other platform. If it weren’t for Android, dual-core processors probably wouldn’t be the star of the show as they are now. She added to that perfectly poignant point by saying that Android needs a dual-core processor in this stage of the game to actually run well. And, as we’ve already discussed, lag is something we all can’t stand.

In truth, Sydney is absolutely correct. Android does need a dual-core processor to run well. In fact, even with processors that are clocked at one GHz or higher that aren’t dual-core, we can see significant performance drawbacks. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but the reason dual-core processors are the standard for Android phones (high-end Android phones, anyway) now isn’t a fluke. It’s absolutely necessary. And that’s perfectly fine. No one is going to say that a dual-core processor is a bad thing (unless you’re running Android 2.2), but it seems to me that the “standard” is causing people to get out of hand.

We can see mobile OS loyalists out there decrying Windows Phone because the platform doesn’t have any comparable hardware, not when it comes to Android. We’ve got devices like the HTC Titan, with its 4.7-inch Super LCD touchscreen. Under the hood there’s a 1.5GHz processor. Nope, no dual-core. And no, there’s no 1GB of RAM, but only 512MB. Can someone tell me how that doesn’t compare to an Android device? Sure, it doesn’t have the same 1GB of RAM as, say, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but the Titan has a bigger display compared to 4.65-inches. (To me the difference in screen sizes is negligible, but there are people out there who would point it out, so I felt it necessary.) And the Galaxy Nexus’ 1.2GHz dual-core processor is fantastic and all, but the Titan’s 1.5GHz processor isn’t something to ignore.

“But it isn’t dual-core, Evan!” So what? If you’ve ever used Windows Phone, then you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Windows Phone doesn’t need a dual-core processor. In fact, it would probably be overkill. The way that Windows Phone is designed isn’t the same way that Android is designed, and that should be obvious. Android needs dual-core and quad-core processors, but Windows Phone doesn’t. Do other platforms, like BlackBerry OS (or even BBX)? Yeah, probably – so hopefully we’ll see that at some point in the future. But Windows Phone? Nope.

And that’s why I think this is getting out of hand. The loyalists out there, the ones that decry Windows Phone because it doesn’t have dual-core high-end devices right now, or will have them very soon, are wasting their breath. A 1.5GHz processor is plenty fine for Windows Phone, and it certainly makes it a high-end device. Now, just bump up that RAM and there’s no reason that anyone who picks up that phone shouldn’t be perfectly content.

Where do you stand on the dual-core phenomenon? And do you think it’s going to get worse as our phones get more advanced, and we see even faster processors? Let me know in the comments below.

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103 Reactions to this post

"Why are people counting out Windows Phone for no dual-core processors? "

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Tito H Dominguez
Tito H Dominguez I'm counting off Windows phones because they irrelevant to me.. nothing but Android for me thanks..
Delon Kueh Chun Kuan
Delon Kueh Chun Kuan i miss the dog fight~
Javier Segura
Javier Segura Besides the GS2 all android phones are failures, even the RAZR and Rezound because even though they have dual cores they still run like a scratched record. WP7 is economic with its operation and still runs smooth as butter. That's why it kicks the ass of 99% of Android phones.
Gabriel Fernandez
Gabriel Fernandez @Marrion: That's Windows Mobile, a different OS. You stupid fuck. Windows Mobile was before, this is Windows Phone, which they built from the ground up.
Matthew Brittain
Matthew Brittain Some good banter here :P
Danny Fleming
Danny Fleming It is funny looking at all the comments saying that wp7.5 doesn't need dual core, and that android is slow and that their single core wp7.5 device beat the international sgs2. Seriously, do some research so you actually know what the hell you are talking about before making such bold statements. For those people who say android needs a dual core to work, android minimum system requirements are a hell of a lot less than windows phone 7s. Wp7 isn't anything special when it comes to speed or smoothness compared to android ice cream sandwich and IOS.
Lee Grip Gresham
Lee Grip Gresham I doesn't really need a DualCore but ok. Now what it really need is to be in a Dogfight with i4S. Mango vs iOS5.
Mike Chiou
Mike Chiou None of those WP7 device is faster than the international SGS2. WP7's UI is fluid and smooth, with a lot of fancy but useless transition or waiting animation. The actual performance such as apps load time, multimedia support etc isn't that great. SGS2 (Exynos) is still the king of smartphone.
Jeff Cross
Jeff Cross At home I still use my Acer PC with windows 95 and a 28.8 dail up modem. Who needs cable or windows 7 list still works fine. Now off to watch a movie on laser disc.
Moinuddin Forhad
Moinuddin Forhad Android is for geek.leggy and buggy.what extra can u do with android that u can't with windows.wp7 is a good all round blazing fast OS . The faster the processor the slower android is.
Zanzi Ok
Zanzi Ok The thing is that windows phone offers only pinning some apps to the homescreen and going up and down , but people want more , Android offers everything you can do anything to your Os
Christopher Anthony
Christopher Anthony lol windows phone <--- joke all in itself
Jason Ramos
Jason Ramos Dual core has nothing to do with why people pass on Windows Phone 7. It's the ugly ass Metro UI!!! It is the ugliest UI I have ever seen on a smartphone. Not to mention boring as hell. Even iOS seems more interesting!
Nathaniel McCord
Nathaniel McCord Amaze is a great phone
??? dual-core for WP7? give me a break. my htc titan running at 1.5ghz is already blazing fast- even faster than International SGS II!
Aldi Zeitgeist
Aldi Zeitgeist then root em dude. i personally havent noticed any lag, but difficult to say windows phones r better and blabla
Nathaniel McCord
Nathaniel McCord Wait im thinking of the arrive
Nathaniel McCord
Nathaniel McCord Lol funny use to have the amaze ended up putting my evo back on the contract because of the lag
Luis Valentin-Zeno
Luis Valentin-Zeno when you can't fix it, bump of the specs
Luis Valentin-Zeno
Luis Valentin-Zeno WP7 runs fine on 512MB of ram and a 1Ghz Single Core Processor... Why give more power where it isn't needed, unlike Android that even with DualCore and 1G of Ram it lags... But that is the manufactures fault who insist in trying to diffirenciate themselfs and bug it down will crap and UI
Aldi Zeitgeist
Aldi Zeitgeist @chad use the htc amaze and u will forget what lag means;)
Tammy Leigh Conley
Tammy Leigh Conley I love ny Windows Phone - It is easy to use and I really like it!
Jay LifesGreat Coote
Jay LifesGreat Coote Who the hell wants to look at little squares all day?
Nyle Ahmed
Nyle Ahmed It doesn't need dual core it already supports up to 1.5ghz
Marrion Bell
Marrion Bell @ gabriel e windows for years way before androud or ios so STFU
Marrion Bell
Marrion Bell fxxk windows phone all of them they suck
Talon Meyer
Talon Meyer it runs light so IT DOESN'T NEED A DUAL-CORE PROCESSOR!!
Nathaniel McCord
Nathaniel McCord As much as i like smart phones i miss flip phones eh oh well once windows starts working more into a gaming set (hopefully getting some better xbox live games hopefully castle crashers ) they might require a dual core to run the graphics smoother i might be wrong on this just conclusion from research i have done.
Chris Robato
Chris Robato When Chrome finally comes to Android it gets better. What is unique about Chrome compared to other browsers is that it turns separate web pages into unique processes that can be tasked scheduled separately for different cores, probably into native processes which is the only way that can happen--- a processor cannot schedule a non native or virtual process. Apple's latest browser engine does turn HTML into native processes and therefore can be scheduled to different cores as well.
Chris Robato
Chris Robato I've seen how an HTC Surround browse and its slow compared to my SGS2 on Wifi when it comee to heavy JS laden webpages. AnandTech has plenty of browser benchmarks using Sunspider and Browsermark, and generally WP7 scores are well behind, partly since Webkit engine has much faster JavaScript execution than IE8 or IE9 engines. Note WP7 apps also don't multithread and are not dynamically compiled. The processor cannot recognize them as a separate process as it only sees the .NET virtual machine process. Android from Froyo on, uses dynamic compilation which turns apps to native execution, and hence can be allocated to different cores. Android also allows apps to be directly natively coded so they bypass the Dalvik VM and can be scheduled separately by the dual cores. IOS apps are always compiled into native anyway and that's how they are distributed (roughly equivalent to Windows EXE files).
Gabriel Fernandez
Gabriel Fernandez Oh and to the people talking about number of apps.. I leave you with this. You compare Windows Phone which only came out last year to Android and iOS which came out 3-5 years ago. How is that even fair? Windows Phone is at about 25k in it's first year and you want to bash it because it doesn't have a few hundred thousand apps like the other 2 which had a long head start? Lol
Chris Robato
Chris Robato Real reason why Windows Phone 7 doesn't dual core because Windows CE kernel has no support for it. Need at least Win32 kernel like the desktop Windows. In contrast iOS and Android are based on Unix and Linux kernels where the support is already built in since these OS are used on high end servers and workstations.
Chad Richter
Chad Richter No pic no proof, bro
Chris Robato
Chris Robato Android Gingerbread uses multithreaded file I/O, Froyo does not. Gingerbread actually shows much better dual core results. Also hardware optimization has more to do with GPU than dual core. Note that HTC and Samsung actually GPU optimizes parts of their UI and the browser and Adobe Flash comes with optimization for Qualcomm processors. Dual core takes advantage of threading and multitasking. Try updating 20 apps on the Android Market using a Galaxy S2 and the Successful Install notifications are happening even before you turn the page. Games also multithread as well as media players and recorders. Not the least is the *web browser* itself. The Mango browser on a Samsung Focus can't even match the Browsermark score of the old HTC EVO 4G (PC World test). Like 27,000 vs. 31,000 for the EVO. The no do browser was only doing 4 digits. The iOS5 browser on the iPhone 4S is scoring as high as 89,000, while the Honeycomb browser on the Motorola Xoom is as high as 93,000. Geez. IE9 on an Asus dual core Netbook (Atom 570) netted 77,000 in comparison.
Danny Fleming
Danny Fleming As I said before, to the people who are saying that android needs a dual core processor to just work, they you really need to do some research.
Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas Wp7 is good but it does get boring after a while. And Windows phones don't really need dual core. They run fine on 1.2ghz single core. It would be nice to see Dual Core though. It looks good on paper and that's what most people buy phones based on. Every body knows 2 is better than 1
Brock Pierson-Kozsey
Brock Pierson-Kozsey Chad Richter Where's Aldo?
Parth Desai
Parth Desai Maybe they are dumb.
Sumeet Deshmukh
Sumeet Deshmukh Yeah we knw that android needs dual core to work well and wp can work well using a single core o' procesr!! "a fact", but my que is, what we wp user work with?? Thr's nothing to do with it than just swiping tiles!! Blue, green?? I cheak out two wp7.5 phones, lumia and omnia w! Both have same spec but some changes in display tech and cam. So i think dat, wp isn't strechy, it can't be streched to any limit of tech!! Android isn't like dat!! Guys, android is the future!!
Chad Richter
Chad Richter @ Aldo: have you not used an android device lately? Even with dual cores and 1 gb of ram the phones still lag and shut down doing simple tasks like just listening to music. I do like android for many reasons but to me it still feels like beta software. Hopefully ics can live up to the hype
Aldi Zeitgeist
Aldi Zeitgeist whoever wrote this article sucks because gives no evidence to support his statement that single core processor windows phones have same performance as dual core android. we know android requires dual core processor. if u write an article provide evidence, otherwise dont waste our time.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban @joshua cause sensation's browser still has no hardware acceleration. ICS will bring all that.
Herman Guerra
Herman Guerra Its not just dual core, its because the Metro UI is ugly.
Joshua Nelson
Joshua Nelson My overclocked sensation was smoked by a hd7 with mango on it in our store the other day doing a stock browser test...just saying
Igor Rebenko
Igor Rebenko Even if the OS doesn't need a dual core processor. Newer dual core architecture is less power consuming and future proof. So I say it's better for the consumer in the end.
Bryan Platt
Bryan Platt Actually a duel core wouldn't do much for the os but it would add a lot to gaming an other features that Android an osx already use it might help speed up the internet a little but I think since they don't update all that much an are still developing the os there's no need so they don't need that power so they don't offer it.
James Matthews
James Matthews @mark fisher no it ain't. but android is.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Btw, I'm selling/trading my HD7 for any android device. PM me if you are interested.
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel I hope people pass on WP7 till they include dual cores. I have one, but im planning to go Android next time till Microsoft wakes up!
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Android is the future. Ice cream sandwich is the future. And people doesn't count windows phones out because of not having dual core offerings, its because of the lack of productivity apps. You can get more productive using android and iOS. That is what people wants. Not square tiles.
Mark Fisher Jr.
Mark Fisher Jr. Because it ain't shit.
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan I can go straight into the browser and load up a webpage just as fast on my Trophy as I can on my Xoom, running Honeycomb with a custom ROM and overclocked. I'm not saying dual cores aren't useful, they just haven't had an immense effect on the performance of phones yet. On paper, it sounds wonderful, but side-by-side the difference is negligible.
Ian Medina
Ian Medina I'm not counting out Windows Phone. Give more time to develop their own mobile OS. But i'm looking forward to Windows 8 than windows phone
Danny Fleming
Danny Fleming To the people saying wp7.5 doesn't need dual core to make things smooth and fast, that's partly true, but only because it has hardware acceleration like IOS has and ice cream sandwich will have. The dual core processor won't make things noticeably smoother if the OS is hardware accelerated (a better gpu would do the trick), but it will make things like app loading speeds and web rendering faster. Wp7.5 in nothing special when it come to speed and smoothness compared to android(ICS) and ios. Also, the smoothness of android 2.3 and below has almost no correlation to how fast android is (on high end hardware), android 2.3 and below isn't hardware accelerated, so it isn't that smooth, but it is blazingly fast. Smoothness and speed are two entirely different things on good hardware, but Ice cream sandwich is hardware accelerated, so it should be buttery smooth. The only good thing that wp7.5 beats android and IOS in is that there are so few apps relatively speaking, that things should be a lot easier to find. If you don't think your phone wouldn't be better with a dual core processor at the same clock speed you have now, then you are just plain naive or deluded.
Jerimiah Afabor
Jerimiah Afabor Maybe bcos of its good look bur Symbian annna is still da best.
Brendon Federko
Brendon Federko I have no idea, it runs smooth enough that it doesn't need it. Android on the other hand, needs all of the power it can get
Josh Evans
Josh Evans I don't think people count windows phone out because it doesn't have a duel core processor. I think people count it out because the os is a far cry from where it should be, the apps available are pitiful, the ones they do have are entirely too expensive, and Microsoft customer service is horrible. The only thing they have going for it is the Zune player. Windows phone has a lot bigger fish to fry than a duel core processor for sure.
Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson Somebody said WP7 only has 5000 apps, clearly that person is trollin' they haven't had 5000 apps since like January it's well above 25k homie. People just assume android is the best because they play the numbers game. The higher specs doesn't always equal better performance.
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan a phone doesn't need to be complicated to be good.
Devin Eisenhour
Devin Eisenhour Dual core is a but faster but windows have realized you make the software right the speeds are just as good cause the carrier can still only hold a certain standerd of speed so the more cores isn't going to help that much and windows knows this
Gabriel Fernandez
Gabriel Fernandez Windows Phone came out a year ago, and it came out with hardware acceleration. Android has been out for about 3 almost 4 years ago and it just now got hardware acceleration. And you guys saying Windows Phone is behind? Lol
James Matthews
James Matthews So many morons posting here who have obviously never used WP7. How sad.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Yep I agree wp7 are for dumb blondes. No wonder sydney uses it.
Paul Davis
Paul Davis Wm7 is fun to play for about 20 minutes... then you realize its so easy a dumb blonde can use it. No customization and the blocked icons are lame. Enuf said....
Drew Applesauce
Drew Applesauce Yeah Henry, size does matter. Needle dick, needle dick!
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Because android does not have hardware acceleration so that android phones that doesn't have GPUs can still utilize the OS. But now, with ICS, we are getting that long awaited Hardware Acceleration finally. windows phones have a long catching up to do.
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan Well Jose, the operating system is a huge factor. Android isn't coded around closed-source hardware requirements so it's a little less optimized and runs better when you pack insane hardware into it. I don't see the need for dual core in WP7 if it can handle browsing, multitasking and gaming as well as any dual-core Android phone can. WP7 will make it to Dual Core eventually but for what it's used for, it's not necessary to have two cores. The phone doesn't use raw power as a marketing strategy, it sells itself to people like me who want to jump in and use a phone as a communication tool while providing a solid browsing, gaming, music listening, etc experience.
Peter Andrew Rardin
Peter Andrew Rardin I suspect windows phone doesn't need dual-core because it isn't a multi threaded OS, I also believe I read that android doesn't optimize the usage of the dual core until Ice Cream Sandwich however I like to have the highest possible hardware specs due to software that will come out in the future I would hope my phone could utilize it as I would be using the same phone for 2 years.
Johnny Holmqvist
Johnny Holmqvist Well size matters
Henry Murillo
Henry Murillo I don't get how people get off on specs. It's like asking who has the bigger penis... Shit its not the size its what u can do with it ;)
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Because dual cores will make everything faster. Why not use it. But wait? What is windows phone??? Is that a phone you're gonna put in your windows..
AJ Goren
AJ Goren Because they're looking for an excuse to put it down for being made by Microsoft. Idiots.
Matthew Gonzales Landry
Matthew Gonzales Landry Because they are bored of android
Eric Quach
Eric Quach dual core is kind of like a brand name. Dual core is for multitasking. wp can multitask and run smoothly on one core
Jose Pablo Islas
Jose Pablo Islas Its like saying...why not buy a desktop with 1GB ram and a p4...as long as your only using XP you'll be fine, id rather buy a good machine and put what I want on it instead of being force feed
Lam Tron
Lam Tron Funny how that Bruno guy up there is dissing WP7. If you go to his page, you see that some of his most recent posts talk about the Lumia 800 and how he is going for the HTC Titan. Hypocrite much? :P
Rajesh Ramsaroop
Rajesh Ramsaroop Because they're nerds
Nick Burns
Nick Burns I don't think they need to hop on the dual-core train yet. They can keep costs lower and offer more competitive prices on great devices by using single-core processors. I use a dual-core Android and we don't have a tonne of Windows Phones on Rogers here in Canada so it's hard to say, but I'm assuming Windows Phone 7 doesn't NEED dual-core to handle daily tasks.
Johnny Holmqvist
Johnny Holmqvist @nick Get a nokia 3110
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan @Angel, maybe people like me don't care about apps and want a smartphone that revolves around the phone?
Johnny Holmqvist
Johnny Holmqvist Gabriel dont worry Windows would survive .. D3 is coming soon ;-)
James Ortiz
James Ortiz Windows on a mobile device sucks
Jose Pablo Islas
Jose Pablo Islas Because...who wants to spend money on a phone with outdated technology...if an update that requires a better processor comes out, you know you'll be left behind...and its likely to happen just so that they can sell another phone...buy an Android on good hardware, root it, and always have the latest
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan Hell, my WP7 is actually faster with web browsing and general experience.
Angel Luis Alvarado Torres
Angel Luis Alvarado Torres Whats makes windows phone way behing from android and ios is the apps. They got millions of apps for ios and android but the poor windows phone got like?? 5000??
Henry Murillo
Henry Murillo I don't mind. Trading my sensation 4g which is dual core but lags more then anything on monday for a Radar which there is no such thing as lag :D
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan Yeah, I have a Xoom with a custom kernel and ROM overclocked to 1.5GHz, my Windows Phone runs just as fast in anything non-3d, I really don't think dual cores provide benefits past faster multitasking
Johnny Holmqvist
Johnny Holmqvist Alecksz not yet. You want one ?
Gabriel Fernandez
Gabriel Fernandez Some of you need to realize that if it takes insane specs to make an OS run smooth then something is definitely wrong. If any of you have ever even touched or seen Windows Phone 7.5, then you wouldn't be so dismissive. But most people are afraid to try something different or are easily threatened. As if they create iOS or Android. It's really ridiculous how close minded and idiotic people can be. The great thing about Windows Phone is that the specs don't need to be insane to run smooth. Neither does iOS. Android definitely needs it though. And this is coming from an Android/iOS user.
Amer Lukac
Amer Lukac Just the "phrase" "dual-core" is a seller.
Clemente Miklavchich
Clemente Miklavchich they cant handle wp
Clemente Miklavchich
Clemente Miklavchich i agree with gabriel, because people are noobs and want only android
Ariel Danielle
Ariel Danielle Microsoft had mobile OS before Android even came out derp.
Rick Harris
Rick Harris Because Microsoft is late to the game and we have 2 great systems in Apple and Google,too little too late.
Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan Considering my single-core HTC Trophy runs just about as fast as the iPhone or any high-end Android phone I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that dual core is really just for bragging rights as far as phones are concerned.
Alekks Herrera
Alekks Herrera Single core is a thing of the past they are looking for a dual core processors into the future : but it windows phones don't need dual core processors why have them is ice cream sandwich out yet?
Johnny Holmqvist
Johnny Holmqvist So you think Windows Phone would be number 1 if they had dualcore?
David Rathbun
David Rathbun I really can't believe you asked this question. If you have used any dual core phone you already have the answer. The Dual core processors make everything work faster and smoother than a single core can accomplish. Do you want to go buy a new car that doesn't have fuel injection or variable valve timing?
Bruno Leonardo Michels
Bruno Leonardo Michels Windows Phone doesn't need dual core or super hardware because it doesn't use the lame slow JAVA that some people still use, can't figure out why though.
Alex Ochoa
Alex Ochoa cuz it doesnt need it...it only scrolls up and down..
Bruno Leonardo Michels
Bruno Leonardo Michels The way you put it... it seems DUAL CORE was invented by Android and Video Conferences are not from this world. What the fuck post was that? Really?
Scott Ritchey
Scott Ritchey Is ice cream sandwhich out yet?
Tim Gruber
Tim Gruber i have an android phone that i love and i love the idea of insane specs, but i also like the idea of a phone that doesn't need the latest specs to run smoothly

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